Dan Burgette is a mixed media sculptor whose primary subject is birds. The material for the birds is primarily wood. He has twenty-five species of wood in his collection, but he mainly uses redwood, walnut, aspen, tupelo and Pacific yew. Stainless steel, carbon steel, titanium, silver, copper, brass and bronze metals and soapstone, granite or quartzite rock are used for elements of his sculpture. He primarily paints with acrylics, with some oils. His work includes representational and contemporary interpretive wildlife art.
Although he does some representational pieces that force him to pay attention to the details of how a bird is really built, his work is mainly in the interpretive style. In 2001 and 2011, he won Best in World Interpretive Wood Sculpture at the Ward World Wildfowl Carving Championships. In 2009 he was admitted into the Society of Animal Artists. In their 2009 Art and the Animal show, he won the Haller Memorial Award for Sculpture for an interpretive piece.
The hallmark of his style involves implied movement. He achieves that through strong lines and the effective use of positive and negative space. His art tells stories about what happens in nature. His goals are to activate space with his sculpture and to connect people with the natural world. Admirers feel that his artwork flows from his naturalist’s knowledge of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and it brings energy to their homes and lives.